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Oct 5, 2012 3:00pm PDT
rule of primogeniture. so what they did is they elected among the royal lineage the man with the best qualifications as a warrior. keach: but that was not all. before the elected king was formally crowned, he was expected to launch a pre-inaugural raid -- a campaign against either a rebellious town or against towns not previously conquered. the raid would show that the man elected was in fact a competent military leader. this altar celebrates 11 conquests by the great aztec king montezuma i. but montezuma is not portrayed anywhere on the monument. instead, it celebrates 11 warriors, each shown subduing an enemy. in aztec society, it was not just the king who benefitted from warfare. the aztec society was unquestionably a strongly class-based society, but it did allow for a certain amount of mobility. and this mobility was largely through success in war. a successful commoner could hope to achieve noble status by virtue of his deeds. keach: this form of social mobility was illustrated in 16th century documents. first, a poorly dressed novice takes a captive. when he takes another capti
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